Former FBI Director James Comey didn’t have many nice things to say about President Donald Trump in his new book, but what’s being downplayed is the fact that the guy really doesn’t have a lot of nice things to say about anyone else in law enforcement or politics. Comey, who knew full well that the country largely views him as a sanctimonious, self-styled boy scout, didn’t let that stop him from writing a book in which everyone is – to one degree or another – less honorable, less truthful, and less loyal to America than himself.
Still, even a sanctimonious loser like Comey can be right at least some of the time.
So we read with interest the early excerpts from the book in which the former FBI Director warmed up his pitching arm, took careful aim, and then threw both President Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch under the bus.
In “A Higher Loyalty,” Comey claims that the specter of political motivations hurt the Clinton email investigation from the start.
“Contributing to this problem, regrettably, was President Obama,” he writes. “He had jeopardized the Department of Justice’s credibility in the investigation by saying in a 60 Minutes interview on Oct. 11, 2015, that Clinton’s email use was ‘a mistake’ that had not endangered national security. Then on Fox News on April 10, 2016, he said that Clinton may have been careless but did not do anything to intentionally harm national security, suggesting that the case involved overclassification of material in the government.
“President Obama is a very smart man who understands the law very well,” he continues. “To this day, I don’t know why he spoke about the case publicly and seemed to absolve her before a final determination was made. If the president had already decided the matter, an outside observer could reasonably wonder, how on earth could his Department of Justice do anything other than follow his lead.”
Gee, could it be because that’s exactly what he wanted his Department of Justice to do?
Comey won’t leap to that obvious conclusion, but he does save some dirt for his old boss at the DOJ, Loretta Lynch. In an echo of his congressional testimony, he writes that he was not pleased with Lynch’s insistence that FBI personnel refer to the Clinton investigation as a “matter” in front of the media.
“It occurred to me in the moment that this issue of semantics was strikingly similar to the fight the Clinton campaign had waged against The New York Times in July. Ever since then, the Clinton team had been employing a variety of euphemisms to avoid using the word ‘investigation,’” Comey writes. “The attorney general seemed to be directing me to align with the Clinton campaign strategy. Her ‘just do it’ response to my question indicated that she had no legal or procedural justification for her request, at least not one grounded in our practices or traditions. Otherwise, I assume, she would have said so.”
What’s even more interesting, though, is a teaser bit of information he writes about concerning Lynch. He says that throughout the course of the investigation, he came upon some evidence that would have put Lynch’s ability to preside over the prosecution of Hillary Clinton in “serious doubt.”
“Had it become public, the unverified material would undoubtedly have been used by political opponents to cast serious doubt on the attorney general’s independence in connection with the Clinton investigation,” Comey writes.
Well, as far as we’re concerned, her meeting with Bill Clinton on that airplane was already enough to put her judgement in serious doubt, but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t interested in knowing what Comey is talking about here. Might be time to haul Comey back to Capitol Hill so we can all find out.